Records Management as a role is becoming increasingly recognised within organisations. Having a Certificate IV in Recordkeeping builds skills in many aspects of records management, including identifying and managing the risk to an organisation of data retention and recovery. But you cannot expect your organisation to automatically approve the expenditure required, unless you can demonstrate the value to the business unit and organistion.
Most managers will require you to present a Business Case if you are requesting their sponsorship to undertake a course from a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). Presenting a Business Case demonstrates your commitment to the proposed study. It also outlines the benefits of your professional development to the Records Unit and organisation as a whole. A good business case removes the focus from being on what you gain personally, and emphasises the organisation gains.
In preparing your case think about ‘What, So What, Now What’:
What – What is your Proposition? What are you trying to achieve? What is the Problem you are bringing to management’s attention?
So What – What is the tangible benefit to the organisation? What impact will this proposal have if taken? What is the cost to the organisation of either ignoring your proposal or accepting it?
Now What – What action are you requesting? What solution are you offering? Where do you go from here?
A Business Case proposal showcases your professionalism and provides your manager with the reasons for approving your request.
To make sure you have covered all the important inclusions in your Business Case use a checklist. Your organisation may already have a checklist developed to assist creating new proposals which contains the criteria considered relevant to management of your organisation. It is best to check for one before proceeding with your own format.
Whatever you do, don’t assume that your manager should know why your having a qualification is important to the Records Unit by making vague statements. Be specific about the value you will add post-qualification (and even during). A comprehensive and complete proposal should make it easy for a manager to agree to.
We’ve put together a sample checklist you can use to highlight why your completion of the Certificate IV in Recordkeeping is a benefit to your organisation.
Make sure you …
Clearly state your value proposition upfront
At the beginning of the proposal, it is important to state why the professional development is important to the business unit and the organisation.
Show a link to existing business priorities where possible.
ᵒ Builds awareness of the importance of Record Keeping as a profession
ᵒ Increases knowledge of relevant Standards and Legislation that are the foundation for excellence in Recordkeeping
ᵒ Continuous improvement
ᵒ Minimization of Risk
ᵒ Reinforces importance of identifying vital records for ensuring business continuity in case of disaster
Describe the training, including planning on completing it
A clear summary of how you will complete the training, the subjects you will undertake, and the impact on day to day work is required.
Remember to use language that is adapted so your audience understands the proposal. Avoid RTO acronyms: the decision maker may not be familiar with them.
ᵒ Provide a training plan
ᵒ Briefly list the Core subjects covered by the course
ᵒ Include the Elective Units to increase your chances of success
List the quantifiable benefits and their value
Quantify as many benefits and identify the cost savings to the organisation so the dollar value can be recognised.
ᵒ Storage savings through being able to conduct a disposal project
ᵒ Reduction of contractor costs to complete advance work
ᵒ Compare the course costs to the organisation savings over a 2 year period
List all the non-quantifiable benefits and costs
Where you cannot fully quantify benefits and their value, describe them. Don’t assume that the decision makers will know about additional benefits that are obvious to you.
ᵒ Improved communication to end users of Record Unit’s goals and the benefits of better recordkeeping practices
ᵒ Ability to administer projects independently principles
ᵒ Improved administrative skills in prioritisation, customer service and increased use of available business technology
ᵒ Able to network internally and externally
Analyse the risks
Describe the risks, if any, involved in you undertaking the qualification and how you will manage them
ᵒ Non-completion of the qualification – provide a clear timetable of study
ᵒ Study time prevents you completing day to day work – timetable study time to quiet periods and identify work priorities
Demonstrate how your results will be monitored by your manager
This will give the decision maker confidence that they will be aware of your progress throughout the qualification
ᵒ Schedule monthly progress meetings with Manager
ᵒ Seeking mentoring from Manager and other internal subject matter experts
ᵒ RTO provides support information to supervisors
Briefly describe the consultation you undertook to develop your business case proposal
Displaying consultation with your team, manager and any other party impacted by your study (including external to the organisation) gives the decision maker confidence all people required to give support have been consulted
ᵒ List managers, mentors and other people who assist in putting the proposal together and how they will support you throughout the qualification
Described the funding/support you are seeking
The decision maker needs to clearly understand the dollars required, and/or support necessary to fund the qualification
ᵒ List the exact funding you require from the organisation
ᵒ Advise of any external funding (this course is eligible for Government subsidy for NSW Residents).